Fender Telecaster Red 1968 Dating & Value

John Shults

Posted on September 21 2021

Fender Telecaster Red 1968 with Bigsby. How to date Fender Telecaster and Values.


This Fender Telecaster Red 1968 guitar came through the shop a few years ago, but I remember it vividly. The lightly metalic red color is called Candy Apple Red Metallic by Fender at the time, and the large tailpiece is a Fender licensed Bigsby tailpiece. It was a spectacular playing Telecaster and one I hope to be able to replace. If you're looking for where to sell Fender guitars near me then you can contact me here: Sell a Fender guitar.

Fender offered two different types of Red for Telecaster guitars in the late 1960s: Candy Apple Red Metallic and Fiesta Red. Candy Apple Red was more popular at the time so many more examples exist when compared to the less common Fiesta Red that looks more pink and orange. Candy Apple Red Metallic is a fabulous looking color with rich deep red color and a light sparkle underneath which gives it the metallic look. Fiesta is a flat color with no sparkle. Here's a nice example of Fiesta: Fender Stratocaster 1962 Fiesta Red.

How to date a Fender Telecaster

Knowing how to date a Fender guitar is important to establishing its value. The Fender Telecaster began as the Broadcaster in 1952, then Telecaster by 1952 and has been in continuous production ever since. You can contact me here if you'd like help with Fender guitar dating: How to date a Fender guitar. Here are the places I look to find out what year a Fender guitar was made: Fender serial numbers, neck heel ink stamp, potentiometer codes, and features. Fender serial numbers aren't the best way to date guitars since they're not necessarily consecutive and are easily swapped using only a screwdriver. They can be helpful if all the specifications match the time period of the serial number. This Telecaster serial number is on the neck plate with a large F logo and begins with 248xxx which would indicate that it was made in 1968.

The neck heel ink stamp is also helpful for how to date Fender guitars, but it was applied early in the manufacturing process and doesn't indicate the month the guitar left the factory. If you've never removed a vintage Fender neck before then I'd recommend leaving this to a professional. The neck heel ink stamp on this guitar reads "3FEB68B" where 3 = Telecaster model (not the day), FEB = February, 68 = 1968, and B = standard nut width of 1 5/8". 

How to date a Fender Telecaster 1950s 1960s

 The next place to look for how to date a Fender Telecaster are the potentiometer codes. The potentiometers are the variable resistors that allow the player to vary the volume and tone of the guitar signal sent to the amplifier. The codes indicate when and by whom the potentiometer was manufactured. The codes on this guitar read "304 6617" where 304 = Stackpole (manufacturer), 66 = 1966, and 17 is the 17th week of that year. Fender purchased a large lot of potentiometers during 1966 and used them up until the early 1970s. A 1966 potentiometer code is correct for a 1968 Fender Telecaster. 

How old is my Fender Telecaster

Fender Telecaster 1968 Value

Fender guitar collectors like myself value each guitar individually using the exact year it was made, exact model, exact color, condition, and originality of the guitar. If you're interested in finding out how much the author of this website values a vintage Fender Telecaster then you can contact me here: Fender guitar collector. In general, the earlier the year of the guitar, the higher we value a Telecaster. Fender Telecasters from the 1950s are more finely crafted than Telecasters from the late 1960s, but late 60s Telecasters can still be phenomenal guitar. Fender increased production numbers throughout the 1950s and 1960s so there are more available from the late 60s than from the 1950s. Check this one out: Fender Telecaster 1957.

The standard color for the Fender Telecaster was Blond, but custom colors were offered by Fender at a 5% upcharge. Many players found the Blond finish pretty cool and weren't willing to pay an upcharge for a different color, so many more Blond examples exist than custom color guitars. Candy Apple Red Metallic is a valuable custom color, but it's one of the more common custom colors compared to the rare Fiesta Red. 

Fender Telecaster 1968 in Candy Apple Red Metallic finish with Bigsby tailpiece

Sell a Fender Telecaster Near Me

I'm currently looking to buy Fender Telecaster guitars from the 1950s and 1960s. I buy Telecasters in any condition, but I'm especially looking for nice examples of custom color Fender guitars. I travel world wide to buy the vintage Fender guitars I'm looking for. If you have a Fender guitar that I'm interested in then I may be able to come to for an in-person transaction. You can contact me here to sell a Fender like this one. 


Where to sell vintage Fender Telecaster guitars near me


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